Building Fires in the Snow by Martha Amore

Building Fires in the Snow by Martha Amore

Author:Martha Amore
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781602233027
Publisher: University of Alaska Press

Rubia Writes a Poem About Light for a Contest

Light, that old word, worn bare by biblical

metaphor—it turns a poem to stone.

Knobbed cliché, light, and its cousin, white,

sewn in fringes to black-and-white Westerns

my father watched as a child. Silly fool,

to believe that good guys dressed in white,

to believe in men entirely good or bad.

But the world has taught him. But light. But white,

adjective with which my Mexican girlfriend

labels the selfishness common to uninformed

Northerners. Nevertheless, light! My hand

on her thigh, my pale neck draped

with her black curls. Being gay makes me less

white, she says. Less. In Anchorage they speak of light

like a famous acquaintance. In November the light

goes away, they say, or, Today I saw the sun. Miracle

and cruelty, the daylight so far north.

Generous, careless, ubiquitous—true celebrity.

Light. White. Blessing unto the blessed

in their houses with big windows. Waking

the not-so-blessed to labor or exposing

their progress home at the end of third shift. Yet,

light! Don’t you want it? Don’t you sit

in the sun and read on a February day?


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